Encourage & Build

Encourage & Build

Have you ever heard this saying?  “Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.”  Such a person is an ENCOURAGER!

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.  (1 Thes 5:11 NIV)

There are at least thirteen passages in the New Testament alone about encouragement.  Encouragement means inspiration, reassurance, and support.  Encouragement is a combination of all three.  It has great potential for fostering and advancing critical moments in a person’s, a church’s, and or a nation’s history. 

But command Joshua, and encourage him and strengthen him; for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which you will see.  (Deu 3:28 NKJV)  As this verse in the Bible demonstrates, encouragement is able to strengthen a person’s soul (mind, will, and emotions) and help them to push ahead to accomplish their goal.  Thanks to encouragement and God’s grace, Joshua accomplished great things for God.

When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.  (Acts 11:23)  This is when Barnabas visited the church at Antioch:  He supported them in their faith in God and emboldened them to continue in it.

Here is something interesting to know about Barnabas

“Barnabas” wasn’t his birth name (it was Joseph); Barnabas was his nickname meaning “Son of Encouragement” (Acts 4:36). This rather obscure Bible character was so encouraging that it became his name.” ~ Source:  https://www.leadershipresources.org/who-is-barnabas-in-the-bible-10-things-to-know.

. . . that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ . . .  (Col 2:2)  These words of the Apostle Paul’s are inspiration to the church of his day—as well as to us.  He is nurturing our unity, our faith in and understanding of the Gospel, and our perseverance in faith.

. . . and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith . . .  (1 Thes 3:2)  The Apostle Paul is writing from Antioch about sending Timothy to confirm, reassure and to strengthen the faith of the Thessalonian church during persecution.

As these passages reveal to us, encouragement is powerful!  It has the potential to build (develop, shape, and foster) a person’s faith in God as well as a confidence in their calling to such an extent that they are enabled to accomplish mighty deeds and to produce pivotal moments in history. 

Boldly encourage someone that you care about today.  Blessings upon you!

Bear Fruit to God

Bear Fruit to God

Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to anotherto Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.  (Rom 7:4, emphasis added)

When we were born again as a result of accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we became a new creation.  (2 Cor 5:17)  As a new creation, each one of us has been given a unique combination of gifts and talents to serve the kingdom of God.  Each one of us has been uniquely designed to bear fruit!

By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.  (Joh 15:8)

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”  (John 15:1-2)

Our Father rejoices when we bear fruit!  He is the Vinedresser who takes special care to cleanse and prune those who bring fruit, specifically so that they can bring more fruit.  The Lord wants us to bear fruit to our full potential.  As you know, the Lord doesn’t want any lukewarm followers. 

We need to be passionately following Jesus—wanting to change as the Holy Spirit leads us and desiring to bear abundant fruit unto God.  How may we bear fruit to God?

Here are some ideas:

  • One type of fruit is a changed character [in us] due to the operation of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-25)
  • Walk in what God has already prepared for you by doing good works (Eph 2:10)
  • Be watchful in prayer; love one another; be hospitable without grumbling; and as we have received gifts, we should minister them to one another (1 Pet 4:7-11)

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing….”By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”  (John 15:4-5, 8)

We need to abide in Christ—to be aware of His presence in our lives moment by moment.  Not one of us can bear fruit without the Lord, but as we abide in Him, we will bear fruit because the Word of God says so.  As we bear fruit, the Lord receives glory and thus, we validate that we are indeed Christ’s disciples.  Have a blessed day!